Cheshire (known archaically as the County of Chester) is tucked up against the northwestern coast of England. Its rolling green plains, which are scattered with soaring manors and sprawling estate farms, make Cheshire a delightfully pastoral place to get married. For the couple who prefer something with a bit more big-city sophistication, the county's towns offer excellent alternatives to the manor-style options on offer.
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Belle Époque Brasserie
Belle Époque, located in the centre of Cheshire's historic town of Knutsford, is an excellent option for the independent-minded couple. The venue doesn't offer wedding packages; instead, you can coordinate with its planners in a one-on-one discussion of the options to produce a unique event. The restaurant is a regional standout, well-known for its reliably delightful wine list, and it proudly displays the many awards it has earned over the years for its top-notch menu. The building has a certain opulent and moody beauty that is well-suited to the name; a Venetian glass floor, rich fabrics and intimate nooks and crannies add to the luxuriant uniqueness of the venue. Both the ceremony and the reception may be held on the premises, and there are overnight accommodations available in-house if requested.
Belle Époque King Street Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6DT Tel: 011(+44) 01565632661 http://www.thebelleepoque.com/weddings.php>
The Crabwall Manor Hotel is a four-star venue that spreads opulently across 11 acres of gardens and woodland expanses. The venue offers civil ceremonies (with space for 30 to 90 guests) and plenty of reception space to enjoy the bride and groom's choices from the chef-curated menus. The manor's on-site spa makes it easy to relax away the pre-ceremony jitters with a deep-tissue massage, and the venue has staff beauticians available to make the bride look as beautiful as she feels. The castlelike Crabwall offers traditional accommodations for the entire guest list (as well as red-carpet service and complimentary welcome champagne for the just-marrieds).
Crabwall Manor Parkgate Road Mollington, Chester Cheshire, CH1 6NE Tel: 011 (+44) 01244851666 http://www.brook-hotels.co.uk/hotels/cheshire/chester/mollington/crabwall-manor-hotel/>
Heaton House Farm
If you're craving a traditional event in keeping with the rural beauty of the Cheshire countryside, Heaton House Farm offers 165 acres of jaw-dropping vistas that span three shires. Run by a local family for many years, the Heaton House venue prides itself on its bearings in local history and its fastidious attention to detail (down to the underfloor heating, concealed sound systems and computer-controlled lighting in its sandstone barns). Especially considering its farm setting, Heaton House is incredibly stylistically flexible. (It can appear as tailored or rustic as the couple desires.) The planning staff is easy-going and flexible regarding ceremony style, guest population and menu; they'll plan as much or as little as you like. Heaton House is licensed for both civil ceremonies and civil partnerships.
Heaton House Farm Rushton, Macclesfield Cheshire, SK11 0RD Tel: 011 (+44) 01260226203 http://www.heatonhousefarm.co.uk/>
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